The Alabama 650 Starts 10-1

Here is a link to an article in Paddling Magazine:

Follow The 650-Mile Paddle Race Across Alabama - Paddling Magazine

And a link to the website where you can follow the progress:


Do we know anyone that is in this race?

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The two leaders are making a real race of it. They keep switch the lead back and forth. After 268 miles, Salli O’Donnell is currently 1/2 mile ahead of Bobby Johnson. Bobby seems to be taking a little detour, possibly to meet with his support team or get a little rest. The other 6, that are still in the race, are well back (20 miles for the next, 70+ for the last.) Three teams have dropped out.

Speaking of resting, the two leaders have been going almost non-stop for about 57 hours!

How safe is it to run rapids in the dark with no sleep?

I know Frances Hiscox only this year, just saw her at the 90 miler

Know a couple teams doing Suwannee 230 this year but not many

Go Salli! You’ve got the best support team with Mike and Joe.

Salli and Bobby pulled into CP2 at roughly the same time, just a few minutes ago. CP2 (Miller’s Ferry Campground) is almost 2/3 of the way at mile 417. They are still well ahead of the rest of the racers.

Bobby has pulled out to a 20 mile lead over Salli.

Bobby is almost in Mobile Bay and it looks (to my inexperienced eyes) that he will be hitting the bay at close to high tide, so whatever current there is in the bay should help him for the first 10 hours or so. He has less than 60 miles to go to the finish line at Fort Morgan.

Frances Hiscoe, in third place overall, is about 60 miles behind Bobby. The others are well back, but anyone who can paddle this far, this fast gets my respect!

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Looks like Bobby is going to claim the win, as he is “just” 6 miles from the finish line. Salli has closed up some, but not enough to claim overall first, She is 25 miles from the finish line. Frances is about 75 miles from finishing and close to entering the bay portion of the race. The others are jockeying for position further back. Of note, Kristin has spent all day overtaking Gayle and Ryan. As of now she has caught them and is trying to move ahead of them. Here are the current standings:


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Bobby claimed the overall win (and the male division too) last night at about 9 CDT. Salli came in second (and first in the female division) about 5 hours later.

Frances is about 25 miles from the finish line. The three amigos have just entered the bay and so they have about 49 miles to go. The three amigas have about 137 miles left.


The wind whipped up the bay yesterday which caused the competitors to take shelter.

Frances had to stop 1/2 mile from the finish line! She was able to get back in the water this morning and finished.

The two remaining amigos went ashore farther up in the bay and got started again this morning. The have since covered a lot water and are only about 18 miles from the finish line.

The three remaining ladies are inland and have been less impacted by the bay weather so far. They are about 20 miles from the bay and 70 miles from the finish line.


Trey and Jim claimed the team first place prize at 4:45 PM CDT.

The only remaining paddlers are Ryan, Gayle and Kristin. They have just entered the bay and have 50 miles to cover to finish. Since Kristin caught up with the others they have been traveling together.

At the moment the wind is fairly light and from the North or North-North-East. The next high tide (at the north end of the bay) will be around 1 AM.


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Gayle, Kristin and Ryan have about 11 miles left to the finish line. Should be over soon!

The weather turned rough before they could finish yesterday. It was so rough that one of them dumped out of her boat (not sure which one.) So, they pulled into a protected area about 1.5 miles from the finish line.

They got back on the water a few minutes ago and quickly covered the remaining section.

Here are the final standings.


Is there a list somewhere of the boats used by the contestants in this race? It looks like they can switch boats too.

@Kevburg, I have not seen a list of the boats used. I did see that they can change boats.

The organizers have an Instagram feed where they posted a lot of pictures… you might be able to tell what boats were used by looking through the pictures. Link:

Great Alabama 650 (@greatalabama650) • Instagram photos and videos

Their site also links to Facebook, if that is more to your style. Link:

Great Alabama 650 | Facebook

Bobby was on an Epic V9
Salli was on an Epic V10
Frances was in a Stellar 18 or 18R
Trey & Jim where on an Epic Double Ski
Gayle was on a Stellar 18 or 18R
Kristin was on a Stellar Intrepid LV
Ryan was in an Epic 16 or 18 SINK.

There where a couple Epic ski DNFs and a Tandem Epic DNF.